Hultzen ACC pitcher of the year, O’Connor coach of the year

Seven members of the Virginia baseball team have been named to the 2011 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Team, announced Monday by the league office after voting from the 12 conference coaches. With seven All-ACC honorees, UVa tied a program record which was set in 2010.

Virginia nabbed two of the conference’s major awards, as Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.) earned ACC Pitcher of the Year honors and Brian O’Connor notched ACC Coach of the Year laurels – each for the second straight year.

Hultzen is the lone Cavalier to ever win the Pitcher of the Year award. He becomes the first player to claim back-to-back ACC Pitcher of the Year honors since the award was established in 2005. It is the third major conference award for Hultzen, who also was named the 2009 ACC Freshman of the Year. He also was named First-Team All-ACC for the third straight year – a first in Virginia baseball history.

O’Connor was tabbed the league’s top coach for the third time in his career (2004, 2010, 2011) after leading the Cavaliers to a 45-9 record, including a 22-8 mark in the ACC Coastal Division. Virginia won its second-consecutive division title.

UVa put five players on the All-ACC first team, in addition to Hultzen (starting pitcher) – John Hicks (Jr., Sandy Hook, Va.) at catcher, Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) at third base, David Coleman (Sr., Richmond, Va.) at outfield and Branden Kline (So., Frederick, Md.) at relief pitcher.

John Barr (Sr., Ivyland, Pa.) and Tyler Wilson (Sr., Midlothian, Va.) pulled in Second-Team All-ACC honors at outfielder and starting pitcher, respectively. This marks the first career all-conference honor for Barr, Coleman, Hicks, Kline, Proscia and Wilson.

Hultzen has gone 9-3 with a 1.49 ERA this season. In 90.1 innings he has allowed just 15 earned runs, 60 hits and 15 walks while striking out an ACC-best 131, which also ranks second nationally. Batters are hitting just .189 against him. He is on the watch list for every national player of the year award and was named Baseball America’s Midseason Player of the Year. He also is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and is on the watch list for the John Olerud Two-Way Player Award.

Coleman has appeared in 49 games this season, starting 39 in the outfield. He finished the regular season third in the ACC in batting at .368, including a .333 mark in ACC games. Coming into tournament play, Coleman owns hits in 24 of his last 27 games. He had a scorching April, where he batted .549 with a team-best 21 RBI.

Hicks has started all 54 games for Virginia, with 43 coming behind the plate. He finished second on the team in batting during the regular season, hitting .352 with a team-best 77 hits. He also tied for the team lead with five homers and 48 runs batted in and ranks among the ACC leaders in hits (T2nd, 77), doubles (T4th, 19), total bases (T6th, 113) and RBI (T8th, 48). He also was tough behind the plate, throwing out 44 percent of potential base stealers. Hicks is a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, which is presented to the nation’s top catcher.

Kline (3-0, 1.97 ERA) led the ACC with 15 saves in the regular season, which is three shy of the school and ACC record. He was even tougher in ACC contests, going 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA and eight saves. Kline also was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List (nation’s best relief pitcher).

Proscia hit .326 in the regular season, tied for the team lead in RBI (48) and was second in hits (72). He also ranks in the top 10 in the ACC in hits (T7th) and RBI (T8th). Proscia is one of three Cavaliers to start all 54 contests this season (all at third base) and has recorded 21 multiple-hit games and 11 multiple-RBI games.

Barr has started 51 games and played in 52, seeing most of his time in left field. He is batting .291 and set career highs in RBI (27), hits (57), runs (40) and doubles (13) this season. He hit .303 and drove in 17 runs during ACC play.

Wilson entered the weekend starting rotation this year after working out of the bullpen the last three years and had a strong year with a 6-0 record and 2.54 ERA. He ranks fourth in the conference in strikeouts (90), seventh in batting average against (.202) and ninth in ERA (2.54). He also is one of 10 finalists for Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for baseball.

The top seed in the tournament field, Virginia opens ACC Baseball Championship play at 3 p.m. Wednesday when it takes on eighth-seeded Wake Forest.

2011 All-ACC Baseball Team

First Team

  • John Hicks, Jr., Catcher, Virginia
  • Pratt Maynard, Jr., Catcher, NC State
  • Richie Shaffer, So., First Base, Clemson
  • Devon Travis, So., Second Base, Florida State
  • Colin Moran, Fr., Third Base, North Carolina
  • Steven Proscia, Jr., Third Base, Virginia
  • Brad Miller, Jr., Shortstop, Clemson
  • James Ramsey, Jr., Outfield, Florida State
  • Kyle Wren, Fr., Outfield, Georgia Tech
  • David Coleman, Sr., Outfield, Virginia
  • Andrew Rash, So., Outfield, Virginia Tech
  • Mike McGee, Sr., DH/Utility, Florida State ***
  • Sean Gilmartin, Jr., Starting Pitcher, Florida State**
  • Mark Pope, Jr., Starting Pitcher, Georgia Tech
  • Danny Hultzen, Jr., Starting Pitcher, Virginia ***
  • Branden Kline, So., Relief Pitcher, Virginia

Second Team

  • Rafael Lopez, Sr., Catcher, Florida State
  • Jake Davies, Jr., First Base, Georgia Tech
  • Tommy Coyle, So., Second Base, North Carolina
  • Matt Skole, Jr., Third Base, Georgia Tech **
  • Levi Michael, Jr., Shortstop, North Carolina
  • Jeff Schaus, Sr., Outfield, Clemson***
  • Will Lamb, Jr., Outfield, Clemson
  • Nathan Melendres, Jr., Outfield, Miami
  • John Barr, Sr., Outfield, Virginia
  • Phil Pohl, Jr., DH/Utility, Clemson
  • Jed Bradley, Jr., Starting Pitcher, Georgia Tech**
  • Buck Farmer, So., Starting Pitcher, Georgia Tech
  • Patrick Johnson, Sr., Starting Pitcher, North Carolina
  • Tyler Wilson, Sr., Starting Pitcher, Virginia
  • Tim Cooney, So., Starting Pitcher, Wake Forest
  • Daniel Bennett, Sr., Relief Pitcher, Florida State

Player of the Year – Brad Miller, Clemson

Pitcher of the Year – Danny Hultzen, Virginia

Freshman of the Year – Colin Moran, North Carolina

Coach of the Year – Brian O’Connor, Virginia

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